Un-Drest to the nines, and rocking solid tens across the board. New to SWELL, Undrest by the Sea is a collection of hand-knit bikinis with retro style (and chevron stripes) written all over them. To top it off, the 100% LA-made bikinis support sustainable and socially responsible fashion production. Groovy.
This post seemed proper for the day after Cinco de Mayo. I scheduled it to coincide with all your tequila headaches. Enjoy!
We left for Mexico on a Friday evening. The day before, my grandpa waved his hairy finger at me saying, “Not a good idea son, NOT a good idea at all!” So I had my concerns when we got to the border just before midnight. Our last minute decision to head to Baja after work put us behind schedule, but the thought of fresh tacos and caguamas lured us south despite everyone’s best advice.
Common phrases when you say you’re headed to Mex.. “BE CAREFUL! Don’t get killed over there!” or “Come back with your head still on your shoulders!”
Even though we were frothing over the buoy readings all week, a day full of pessimistic small talk definitely poked some holes in my dream canoe. Any mention of Baja to friends or coworkers and they’d start talking about beheadings, killings and anarchy… Not really what you want to think about as you near the border.
11:24pm: Tijuana Border Crossing
As soon as we could see the twinkling lights of TJ, my brother and I started searching for reasons to double back. At the MexInsur booth we asked the lady if it was dangerous driving over the border at nighttime. Fishing for a bloody cartel story or something of the sort, we sat there bracing for the worst. To our surprise all she gave us was a warning for possible foggy driving conditions near the coastline. A bit confused we then prodded about the drug war, the killings and such. Her response, “If you guys don’t have any drugs on you then you should be fine, Have a safe trip!” and then she slid the window closed.
You know what happened next? Nothing! absolutely nothing. We took the road south and aside from a slight detour through town, everything seemed normal. We arrived to our destination with fresh beers in hand and our friends greeted us with tequila shots and similar stories of an equally safe arrival. I remember thinking, “Maybe the MexInsur lady was right, maybe Mexico is safe.”
The Mantles are a contemporary pop/psych concoction from San Francisco. This San Franciscan four-piece are a zany group of longtime friends that really know how to create some sharp, garage-minded jangle pop in a groovy sort of way. Their unique sound encapsulates both the late 50’s countrified rock ‘n roll as well as the paranoiac side of the 60’s & 70’s psychedelic fuzz.
The band members’ paths crisscrossed in unlikely, but seemingly inevitable ways. All longtime Bay Area residents, The Mantles have formed a groove-furnished group that is spearheading the current San Francisco psych renaissance.
When Kevin J. Elliot of The Agit Reader asked The Mantles “How did you guys get started,” the drummer, Virginia Weatherby, responded- “I lost my job and was advised to find a couple of “shitbags” to help me kill time. Enter Michael (Michael Olivares- the band’s vocalist & guitarist), who was impressed that I lived in a house in San Francisco with a garage that you could practice in. He convinced me to jam even though I had never really played drums before. With some 40s in hand, Michael lured his high school buddy Jermaine to come play bass and the three of us spent the summer playing music as an excuse to drink during the day and not feel guilty.”
The bassist for the band, Matt R, described how the came together about by stating “I saw this incarnation of the band and asked to put out a single. I goaded Drew C (the band’s lead guitarist) into letting me co-produce the record in his garage. Slowly Drew seeped into the band and I wasn’t too far behind, as I was the only bass player shitty enough to get in the ballpark of Jermaine after he decided to leave.”
The Mantles are amidst a great sound that is currently going on in the SF music scene. The reason I dig them so much is the fact that they aren’t pushing out quantity but rather taking time to press the best.
This quality sound that The Mantles exude fills me with jittery exuberance and makes me wanna boogie. Whether or not yer day-tripping or just plain ol’ tripping out enjoi this breeze-kissed, pop nugget “Don’t Lie” off of their latest album titled “The Mantles.”